Star Wars: To Retcon or Not To Retcon

WARNING! Contains spoilers for the novel Smuggler’s Run, and The Clone Wars animated series.

In the Star Wars novel Smuggler’s Run, written by Greg Rucka, it turns out that Chewbacca did receive a medal after the destruction of the first Death Star. When I read this, my first thought was: “Seriously?” I didn’t hate the idea, but I felt it was a bit forced (no pun intended).

Many Star Wars fans thought George Lucas should have corrected this in the Special Editions–and then leave everything else alone. Some who read Smuggler’s Run saw this as correcting an oversight, while others saw it as a retcon.
I don’t know what I think.

Darth Maul was one of the highlights of the prequels, but he died in The Phantom Menace. Years later, he reappeared on The Clone Wars. Huh? When I heard about this development, I thought it was the worst idea since Greedo shot first.

When Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon Jinn, it was devastating. I thought back to A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi was killed by Darth Vader. Near the end of The Phantom Menace when Obi-Wan cut Darth Maul in half, it felt like justice. If you want to get all psychological about it, Darth Maul’s death gave Obi-Wan a sense of closure. To bring Darth Maul back seems less like a crutial plot development, and more like a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” sort of thing. But I could be wrong. After I watch The Clone Wars, I’ll get back to you.

In Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett fell into the Sarlacc pit, and hasn’t been seen since. Years later, in one of the Expanded Universe stories, (now called “Legends”) we find out Boba Fett survived. As everyone knows, the Legends series is not considered canon–until it is. Until he appears in a canonical story, Boba Fett is Shrodinger’s bounty hunter.

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